Simple Living Is Important for My Children

Posted on December 7, 2007. Filed under: Frugal Living |

I live in an affluent community, and I don’t like what it’s doing to my kids.

In the sixth grade, one of my children came home from school and announced she wanted a Louis Vuitton pencil case–just like everyone else. The amount of conspicuous consumerism in our community is ridiculous.

What I find so bad is that my kids, and their friends, are growing up with no sense of hard work, no need to do something better for the world, or concerns about their future. Perhaps we as parents are to blame. I worry that I make things too easy for them and give them too much. On the one hand I want them to have so many things I could not have as a kid. On the other, I often say to my husband “they are not hungry enough”. What I mean by that is, I see no drive, or concern about their future. I wonder is it because they have always had parents who protected them, while I was on my own at a young age and knew that I needed to figure out how to take care of myself. While I don’t want them to fear for their future (which I sometimes did when I was young) I do want them to have a vision for their future.

I was very driven when I was their age, so perhaps it isn’t fair to compare them to me at that age. A lot of young people take time to find their way. But we are also in different times. I grew up in the post Civil Rights, neofeminist age when the world was rapidly changing, and I could see how the activism of adults was having an impact on the world that benefitted me. I wanted to be a part of that. Now we are living in a new, more conservative era, where the mantra is less about public good and more about personal responsibility.

I am concerend about my kids’ work ethic and priorities.They whine when we ask them to help with simple chores around the house, and my daughter is badgering us for a new phone for Christmas with more bells and whistles than any teenager needs.

I have no answers. However, one of the reasons why I am seeking a simpler life, is to combat the consumerism. I want to demonstrate the importance of family and relationships, to show gratitude for what we have, and to let them know there is more to life than getting “things”.

I will talk more later about a purpose driven life.

Anne

Watch Teenage Affluenza

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  • About

    Musings on how a disorganized woman with a full time job, three kids and a real need to relax is trying to make life simple.

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